Why Riyadh Airport Is In The Perfect Position To Grow

      Published on Sunday, 26 January , 2020      794 Views     
Why Riyadh Airport Is In The Perfect Position To Grow

In September 2019 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia opened itself to the world with a historic visa launch. Now, citizens from 49 countries are eligible to apply for an eVisa online or receive a Visa on Arrival into the Kingdom.

At the recent Kuwait Aviation Show, we had a chance to sit down with Ahmed Alharty, Terminal Operations Manager at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, to discuss how the airport is perfectly positioned for growth.

With 51 airlines serving 27.9 million passengers annually, King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh won’t make the list of world’s busiest airports anytime soon.

In fact, Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport hit a new record in 2018, handling 41 million passengers.

However, recent expansion projects combined with a new, more relaxed tourism policy should offer passengers traveling to (and through) KKIA a better experience.

Airport expansion underway

According to DFNI, KKIA’s Terminal 3 and 4 are due for completion in 2020. Terminal 3 has been closed since August 2018 while Terminal 4 has never even been occupied.

London-based The Design Solution has the role of commercial planning as part of the airport’s major redevelopment program. Sources indicate that the expansion will include a “new centralized, post-security commercial area between Terminals 1 and 2” as a way to enhance passenger experience while providing additional sources of revenue:

“We are undertaking major transformations in Riyadh Airports as part of privatizing the Aviation Sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, therefore we are always seeking opportunities to optimize KKIA’s commercial returns, enhance the passenger’s experience and play a major role in promoting our strategic goals, such as being among the top 50 airports in the world.” -Gelban AlGelban, VP Commercial, Riyadh Airports Company.

Largely domestic growth

Alharty tells us that the airport is mainly a gateway to the rest of the country, receiving passengers who transfer through to domestic flights. In fact, the airport’s growth is mainly on the domestic side at roughly 13.5%. On the international passenger side, the airport is only seeing 4.4-4.5% growth.

“We think this will change with eVisa now. We will get more transfer passengers [and] we are improving our services when it comes to [handling] international transfer passengers. Our aim is to remove all these barriers for transfer passengers at the airport.” -Ahmed Alharty, Terminal Operations Manager at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport

Category Business | 2020/01/26 latest update at 4:06 PM
Source : Internet | Photocredit : Google
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